New Retro Trend in NYC- Physician House Calls

housecall.jpgWith the weather taking a bit of a chill (though still unseasonably warm) it seems like pretty much everyone I know is sick right now. I even felt the tickle of a sore throat last night so I’ve been drinking lots of fluids and taking it easy hoping the fend off the coming ick. But if you find yourself already caught in the throes of an all-out cold it’s probably time to go deal with one of the most annoying experiencess in the world: going to the doctor. For the busy and wealthy among us, a new service called Sick Day just launched last week, where a physician’s assistant will come to your home and evaluate everything “from strep throat to pneumonia”. The flat fee for the service is $250 but they say that is reimbursed by the better insurance companies, so it might be worth a try. I think we can all agree that the most annoying thing about going to the doctor is the seemingly epic length of time you spend in the waiting room, surrounded by sick folks coughing and sneezing and possible making you even sicker. In a city where pretty much everything else is delivered, isn’t it time that house calls from doctors finally made a comeback?

Upon closer examination, Sick Day only visits patients in Manhattan, so all us outer-borough folks are yet again second class citizens. But what’s this? In their article about this new service, the NY Post also mentions another house-call service that was launched a few months ago called New York House Call Physicians. NY House Calls will send an ACTUAL doctor to your house for diagnosis, or just a PA if you simply need lab work, and while the price is twice as high ($500 for the first visit to a new patient) they have a billing department that will handle all of your insurance claims. It sounds like a great deal if you have insurance that will reimburse you, so if anyone is sick and uses either of these services; please let us know what you think. And get well soon!

1 Comment so far

  1. Maurice Beer (unregistered) on January 1st, 2007 @ 6:23 pm

    Dear Writer –

    I was really happy that you decided to write about our service in your blog. Thank you for taking the time to learn about sickday.

    I wanted to take the time to point out however that you might not fully understand the capabilities of PA’s and their necessary role in healthcare today. Your posting appears to diminish their professionalism. Likening them to assistants who draw bloods is a gross misconception. PA’s are highly trained professionals licensed to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients as well as prescribe medications. You will find them working in physician offices, emergency rooms, intensive care units, surgical settings and more. Our PA’s at sickday have primary care and emergency room experience and thus are ideally suited to treat the kinds of problems seen in our practice. They are fully capable of treating our sickday patients in their home, office or hotel environments.

    They are not assistants who run errands. It’s unfortunate that the profession has the word assistant associated with it at all. We’re working on that, many hospitals are now referring to PA’s as physician associates, which is a marked improvement and more indicative of their role. I hope that you will let your readers know that they can fully trust the Physician/PA care model and you might also want to tell them that if they are referred to an emergency room in the event they need to be there, it’s very possible they’ll see a PA on arrival. There are PA’s in all subspecialties from pediatrics, orthopedics, cardiac & general surgery to primary care.

    As a physician who has been working with PA’s for the past 6 years in my practice & the house call service for the past 4 years, I feel obligated to correct these errors and help educate the public about the role of PA’s in the health care system. I can honestly say that in all the years I have been working with PA’s, never has any patient been dissatisfied and asked to see an “actual doctor.” Most of our patients actually prefer our collaborative approach because they have 100% confidence in our PA’s and get a built in second opinion. Collaborating with PA’s allows us to provide affordable care in an environment of choice, the patient’s choice. PA’s are key members of the primary care team and growing in numbers as we all recognize their invaluable contributions.

    Thank you for your time and consideration. Stay well.


    Maurice Beer, MD

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